Monday, July 10, 2017

Breaking the work first/play later habit

I'm on a quest this year to create a sustainable art practice that fits my life. Because I'm slowly reducing the number of paid projects I'm willing to take on, I'm freeing up more time that should make an art practice easier to sustain. But I'm continually bumping up against another very long-term practice that's proving hard to shift: getting all my work done before I can play.

Between the Protestant work ethic I grew up and parents who praised tangible, practical productivity, I find it hard to go into the studio when I've got editing deadlines or other work commitments. Even if I can get myself in there physically, I feel the work looming over me. No problem, you may be saying to yourself, just paint afterwards.

But I'm blessed with work that requires concentration and creativity and after some or many hours of doing that, I don't have the bandwidth, as we say, to get creative in the studio. So doing it first is my best option.

I know that my brain can be rewired. I've done it with other long entrenched habits and I can do it with this. But I guess I just need to whine about it first.  

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